Category Archives: OnContact

Ways to Maximize a CRM Trial

when a small business should invest in crm Ways to Maximize a CRM Trial

When your business was a start-up, you probably had a small number of customers and it was fairly easy to keep track of them in a spreadsheet.

As you gain more customers and begin managing larger volumes of customer data, you’ll likely reach a tipping point in which you could benefit from a more efficient system. But how do you recognize it’s time to upgrade?

Are You Ready for CRM?

A CRM software solution is designed to help organize, track, maintain, and review all data associated with sales, marketing, and customer service. It can help manage your company’s growth, keep your data organized, and give every user a live view of the information.

Here are 5 indicators your business is ready for CRM:

  1. Your processes are failing and sales are suffering. Selling isn’t easy. But you shouldn’t be losing sales because prospect information is being misplaced, you’re forgetting to follow-up on leads or your sales team is spending too much time figuring out how to organize and manage customer information than actually selling.
  2. You are losing customers. Acquiring new customers is great, but holding on to existing customers is even more critical. Retaining customers and encouraging repeat business is all about building relationships. Yet as your business grows, it can become more and more difficult to keep track of all those personal details that helped you build your relationships with customers.
  3. Accessing customer data takes too long. As your customer base grows, the volume of customer data you manage grows along with it. Without CRM, accessing important data, such as payment terms, buying patterns, big spenders and response rates, can become a cumbersome and time-consuming process. If you’re responsible for managing a large number of customers or a large volume of orders, chances are you could benefit from CRM.
  4. You’re losing sight of what’s working. When you close a sale, you need to be able to identify what worked. That way you can try to replicate it. If your sales process has become so complex that you can no longer identify what works and doesn’t work, it’s time to take a hard look at CRM.
  5. You recognize it’s time to integrate. Do you wish your customer information was assessable to areas within your business? Is your hard-earned customer data going into a black hole, suppressing you from gaining real insight as to what’s going on with your customers? A CRM solution gives you a single, centralized place to store your customer data so that everyone on your team has access to it.

Ultimately, when manual business processes become too cumbersome and handling all the marketing, prospecting, sales, and customer service is no longer an easy thing to do, you are probably in need of a CRM.

Test Drive with a Free Trial

If your business is growing and any of the above points ring true, you should at least be exploring CRM options. Most vendors provide free trials so you can test drive the platform and see how your team will benefit from it.

The free trial period can be crucial to understanding the extent of how the CRM will help your business. Further, getting your hands on the tools will help you gauge how easy it is to use, which will give you a better idea of how well your team will adapt to it in their workflow.

You can see all the demos and talk to the reps all you want, but until you begin using it, it’s hard to fully understand how the CRM solution will function in conjunction with your business processes. Here are four keys to keep in mind while using a CRM free trial.

1. Involve all key users

CRM software can be used by a variety of different departments and employees – from sales associates and marketing specialists to customer service reps, management, and everyone in between. It’s important that all key team members use the software during the free trial; not only because it will give them each firsthand experience, but also because it allows you to test out the different functionality by department. Involving others also gives them a chance to share their input and offer their own evaluations, ultimately helping you make a final decision.

2. Make sure you’ve had a walk-through with a sales representative

Before going into a free trial, make sure you know the basics and understand the navigation and layout. A demo from a sales rep will go a long way to help you understand how the CRM solution can best be utilized for your unique situation.

3. Use the type of data that your company has

Although you should not use actual, sensitive company information, it is best to use as similar information as you can when using the free trial. The closer it is, the more accurate a picture you will get of how the CRM will work for your company’s data and the users.

4. Be on good terms with your sales rep

Don’t avoid your CRM sales rep. Speaking to your rep before, during and after your CRM free trial will allow you get all your questions answered and help fill in any blanks. It also gives you a chance to touch base with them and set up a future meeting should you wish to continue evaluating that particular CRM solution.

Choose What Fits Your Situation

At its most fundamental level, CRM is a central hub to collect, store and utilize sales data. It allows you to keep your information organized and access data precisely when you need it. From there, CRM can create efficiencies for almost every department in a company, from managing customer complaints to marketing automation, email marketing, accounting integration, and more.

Choose the CRM that will best benefit your current situation, but also one that can be increasingly utilized as you grow.

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How to Best Market a Retail Business

customer experience How to Best Market a Retail Business

Whether you work in retail or are a consumer, the retail business is one that most of us deal with on a weekly or even daily basis. Marketing in the retail realm has changed over the years thanks to the online shopping takeover. Consumers mostly know what they are looking for and marketers often have trouble trying to encourage shoppers to purchase things that are not on their shopping list.

An additional problem is being stagnant when you do begin your business. It is a tricky market and being ahead of the curve is essential. Marketers have to learn the ways to best market to their audience, but how?

What is Retail Marketing?

Before we get into the ways to best market with the retail world, let’s give a quick description on what exactly retail marketing is:

  • Retail marketing is the process by which retailers promote awareness and interests of their businesses and the products and services they provide all in an effort to generate or increase sales from their customer base.

Now let’s talk about the different ways retail businesses can or should market their business.

  1. Focus on how to sell what your business sells

Being in the retail business naturally relies itself to selling items, but you cannot rest solely on that to help your business get by. What is your business known for? Are there specialty items that can only be found there? Or is your particular product the most popular? Knowing what makes your business important and/or special allows for you to then zone in on how to sell those items. Separating your business from others with a great customer experience, automatically places your business in a different playing field. Your store items may be able to be found in any store, but great customer service is hard to find and isn’t lost among customers.

  1. Give consumers a reason to shop your business

Continuing from our first tip, you must give your customers a reason to shop your business. Whether it is stellar customer service or specialty products, something about your brand and business needs to stand out above the others. Having exclusive events, including special sales on discounted items can gain interests. Marketing those special events through promotional emails and social media campaigns.

  1. Motivate your customer base

Motivating your customers to take action can result in an increase in website visits, sales and creates the potential for your client base to increase. But who should business motivate their customers? Taking advantage of holidays, which natural creates an atmosphere for shopping, is the perfect time to promote action amongst customers. Marketing special promotional events, not only alerts your customers it encourages customers to spend money because there is a special sale taking place. Marketing is really important here because using specific language can help intrigue customers and encourage them to spend time and money on your business.

Bonus: How Customer Relationship Management Software Helps

WorkWise CRM software can help businesses within the retail industry. The software not only helps businesses with their daily operations, but helps to build and increase the business/ client relationship. Here are some of the things a business can achieve with the help of a CRM software in place.

  • Segmentation – CRM helps users gather information on your customers. That can range from their contact information to items purchase and the times they have contacted your business. This information can be used to better market and customized information toward your consumer base.
  • Purchases – Customer Relationship Management software keeps record of customer purchases as well. Knowing what customers have bought and how much of it, allows for your to market toward them if similar or exact items that they have purchased become part of promotional sale events.
  • Creates Brand Loyalty – Retail and CRM work well together because it creates opportunities to scope out your most loyal customers. Through that, you can help build strong brand loyalty and even use your most vocal customers (those who may leave frequent comments on social media/leaving product review) as branding advocates.

The retail industry is one that constantly changes, just like marketing. And with those changes, businesses must constantly work on ways to keep their business relevant through clever marketing campaigns, which involves knowing just who your consumer base is. CRM software helps you in the area and can also assist with your marketing efforts.

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Improve Your Relationship with Your Mobile Users

crm growth mobile Improve Your Relationship with Your Mobile Users

Making your customers a priority should be the main concern of all businesses, since they either succeed or thrive based on how the customers feel about the business. With all of the current advances in technology, from creating a social media presence to online reviews of businesses, knowing where your customers come from and how to best effectively reach them is of the utmost importance. In today’s age most users turn to devices to shop, communicate with others and even conduct business. Those devices can be their tablets and most commonly used, a smartphone.

Reaching your customers where they are opens a range of opportunities for businesses. So once you know where your customers go to either buy from your business or at least browse, it is time to start catering your business toward them. Read below to find out three ways to improve your relationship with mobile users.

Improvement #1: Mobile Responsive Site

Creating a mobile friendly site is the first step many businesses take before designing their own app. A mobile site is the same version of the website that adapts itself to the device that the site is being accessed on. A mobile responsive layout often times look slightly different depending on the device that is being used. Having a website designed to be mobile friendly shows your customers that you know many users prefer their cellphones to laptops or desk computers. Designing a site for mobile users also shows that you would like to make the site experience an easy one to navigate.

Improvement #2: Mobile Apps

The next step up from a mobile responsive site, is developing an app. Not only is it an easier solution than a mobile site, it is also a more up to date and trendy one.  Knowing that your customers took the time to download you app shows that they have an invested interest in purchases from you and visiting the app again, creating more opportunities for a transaction to be made.  A lot of the customer’s interactions will be made through the app, so developing it with the customers in mind will help to give them a satisfactory experience whenever they use it.

Improvement #3: Consistent Social Media Usage

Another forum that many customers use is social media. With social media, it is often times accessed through mobile devices which is another opportunity to reach your customer base. No matter the social media site, statistics have shown that many mobile users go to social media on their phone more than any other reason they use their phone for. Integrating social media into your marketing plan places you right into the heart of where your customers are.

Additional Improvement: Mobile CRM

Another great improvement that a business can utilize in an effort to best build their relationships with mobile users is mobile CRM software.  Workwise OnContact CRM software allows you to access your software from a laptop, tablet and of course your smartphone. This often times allows business employees to have access to the software no matter where they are so long as they have a Wi-Fi connection and their cellular device. Customer relationship management software allows for businesses to know their customer base better, with information about their shopping history and even ways to contact them. Having this information on the go allows for immediate assistance and updates, improving the customer service experience.

Paying attention to the latest trends, many of which are now becoming staples such as mobile usage allows for your business to make the necessary changes it needs to make in order to not only stay afloat, but to thrive in their respective industries. Consider the ways that your relationship will improve with your customers when you place a mobile minded thought process into play. Meeting your customers where they are shows that you are interested in them and want to make their experience with you a meaningful one.

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Different CRM Integrations to Implement

crm growth pipeline management Different CRM Integrations to Implement

Making sure that you are getting the most out of your purchased software, no matter the kind, is essential for many reasons. Utilizing every aspect of it, may lead you to finding features that can be essential to the growth of your business. With customer relationship management software, there are many benefits to using this software as we have covered in this blog before. However, there may be things that you and your business may not know about CRM, such as the different forms of integration that can be added to your software. In today’s blog post, we will discuss what integration is, the different types of integrations and how they can add to your already beneficial software.

What is CRM Integration?

Rather than just using your current software to store customer information and build customer/business relationships, integration allows for a business to build your website and CRM system together function in a seamless form. Essentially, it is bringing together different, smaller elements to perform as one single system.

Integration #1: QuickBooks Integration

QuickBooks is one of today’s most popular accounting solutions, used by both small and mid-sized businesses. The software allows you to manage bills, send invoices and make payments as well as paying your employees. With this integration, businesses are able to eliminate double data entry as well as viewing customer information and financial data. This can all be done without leaving the application.

This integration helps businesses save time through synchronizing customer and production information, which eliminates entering data twice which can be an incredibly time consuming task. Information that beings in your customer relationship management system can be exported to your QuickBooks application and all information in QuickBooks can also be exported to your customer relationship management software. Using this integration is ideal for ecommerce businesses because it stores all financial information.

Integration #2: Quotient Quote Generator

The Quotient app makes it easier for clients to read business quotes, so they will sign on the dotted line. With the app, you can deliver quotes directly to the inboxes of prospective clients. Once the quote is sent, the app lets you know when your lead has opened the quote, when your next follow up should take place and whether your quote has been accepted or not.

With the help of CRM software, keeping up with clients and quotes is made to be easier and consistently remains up to date with this integration.

Integration #3: Google Drive

Whether it is for personal, every day usage or for business of different industries, Google Drive has become a convenient and reliable tool for many. Drive is popular because it is easy to share, use and collaborate on documents/projects. It is an upgrade from your traditional spreadsheets, which can truly only be shared through servers (if your business uses it) and emailing, which can become tedious especially if work is time sensitive. The gift of Drive is that all of your information is stored in the cloud, which reduces the chance of loses information. Integrating Google Drive with your software allows for all of your important information, which could be about your clients, to be stored in a system without having to use multiple tabs to find what you are looking for. Convenience is important, especially when you’re a busy employee.

These are just some of the different types of integrations that can be placed within your CRM system. Researching information on your consultant/implementer will also allow you to know the different features that can be integrated into your system.

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Little Known CRM Features

chart tablet Little Known CRM Features

If you work with a customer relationship management software on a daily basis, there is a chance that you use it for the same functions. Often times, the software offers so much more than what businesses use it for, leaving many features left untapped. It is always important to make sure that you are getting the most out of your software, knowing the complete ends and outs of it, so that your company maximizes its use, getting your money’s worth.

In today’s blog post, we will discuss a few of its features that tend to be left behind during its daily functions. Read below to learn more about your software and how these unknown features could potentially benefit your business.

Sales and Lead Generation

For all businesses, especially those in the retail and sales industries, having a CRM software that caters to lead generation is a given. However, not all software solutions have a sales and lead generation functionality. Implementing software that meets your needs is important, but what is even better? Playing the long game and thinking ahead when it comes to your business. Growth. You want a customer relationship management software that can help prepare your business for its (hopeful) expansion throughout the years. Considering sales and lead generation as part of your software is a must, especially is expansion is on your mind and part of your business plan.

Multiple Forms of Access to Software

As we have covered in our previous blog posts, there are different ways to access your software, whether it is on premise, through cloud and even with mobile integration. Many businesses do not know that there are so many options when implementing CRM software, which is why research is incredibly important. Being able to access your software no matter where you are, is an investment worth taking. With cloud and mobile integration, you have all of the information you need at the palm of your hand, no matter where you are in the world. Depending on what your business is looking for, the different options for software can help make your daily life much easier and more convenient.

Voice Memos

A great software feature, and one that often goes unmentioned, is voice notes. During phone calls with customers, taking note of important information helps you recall the conversation, but many things can happen while manually taking notes. Bad penmanship and missing important details are just a few things that could potentially go wrong when writing down notes. There is no need to worry about that anymore since CRM allows for phone calls to be recorded up to a certain length of time. This feature helps you to cut down on note taking completely, sense you are able to recall and listen to an entire conversation through a recording. It is the little details that we tend not to think about that make our jobs easier.

There are many other features in customer relationship management software that we didn’t cover, but are there for you to utilize and enjoy. What is most important is finding a software that works best for your company, its current and future needs. Researching before the implementation process allows for you to truly consider what it is your company needs in an effort to make your work life easier and less stressful.

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How CRM Can Give Your Content Marketing a Jump Start

gettyimages 470907992 How CRM Can Give Your Content Marketing a Jump Start

If you are familiar with content writing, you may occasionally experience difficulties getting your work to rank on search engines. There are even struggles with trying to find ways to gain attention from readers and subsequently generate a following. Finally, another struggle with content writing is making your subject something that is interesting and worth reading, especially if it is a topic that the general public may not be too interested in.

In today’s blog, we are going to talk about content marketing, what it is and how to make people stop and notice through the usage of CRM software.

Content Marketing. What Is It?

Before we begin discussing the ways in which customer relationship management software can assist with giving your content marketing the push it needs, let’s define the phrase and make you a bit more familiar with it.

A strategic marketing approach which focuses on creating and distributing relevant and consistent content through online platforms is content marketing. With traditional marketing tactics such as cold calls, TV and radio spots and print advertisements no longer proving to be as successful as they once were, content marketing has now become the more widely accepted and effective form of marketing. That is because it works from an often used and popular platform, which is the internet. Essentially, you are meeting your customer base exactly where they are and using the internet allows for more creative ways to market.

How Does CRM Help Content Marketing?

One of the benefits of using customer relationship management software is its overflow of data.  No matter what your goal is for using the software, having information about your customers and all interactions involving your business and its customers, can help you in more ways than one. When it comes to content marketing, you can use the information collected within the system to learn more about your customer base, their interests and how to marketing toward them. Here are three specific ways CRM can bring life to your content marketing.

  • Gain customer social media understanding: CRM allows you to gain a better understanding of your customers in order to create a more personal relationship with them. Social media usage can easily tell a business what their customers are interested in or do no care for, making marketing easier. Social CRM is a tool that can make this process easier.
  • Monitoring metrics: Utilizing CRM data is the perfect way of finding data that rests in email threads and phone conversations. You can look through metrics and data, what was successful or a failure and from there make changes with your marketing.
  • Make Businesses Better Listeners: This one is simple, but effective. Paying attention to your customer’s actions, needs and requests will make content marketing easier to perform. The needs of a customer are often documented in customer relationship management software. Knowing this information doesn’t just simplify marketing, it also shows your customer base that you care and pay attention to them.

CRM is an incredibly helpful software and can be used for more than just building a relationship with customers. It also helps with giving your content marketing the boost it needs in order to better perform on search engines.

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What Exactly is Customer Experience Management?

gettyimages 534827625 e1510935521779 What Exactly is Customer Experience Management?

Everyone knows that a business cannot succeed without its customers and in order to keep them happy, you have to take the time to get to know them, who they are and what they want out of the services you provide. Many businesses use CRM software to help foster stronger relationships with its following by using it to track customer information. Knowing their purchase history, social media activity and the amount of times they have communicated with your company, helps you marketing toward them more intuitively. However, it isn’t the only software made to help strengthen a business/customer relationship. Let’s talk about another acronym, CEM.

What Is It?

Customer experience management is the collection of processes used by a company to oversee and organize all interactions between a customer and an organization through the customer lifecycle. The customer lifecycle means the progression between a customer considering, purchasing and ultimately maintaining loyalty to a product or brand. This software basically helps businesses focus on the needs of its customers through keeping a close eye on all interactions from beginning to end.

What’s unique about this software is that it makes a business view itself from the perspective of the customer. Because of that, decisions made by businesses can be made with the customer’s thoughts and emotions in mind, acting as a heavy influence. Customer experience management’s goal is to optimize interactions from a customer’s prospective and create customer loyalty. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, your customers are the most vital part of a business and their thoughts and opinions matter.

Difference Between CRM and CEM

In certain ways, both CRM and CEM may seem like they are the same type of software. They focus on the satisfaction of the customer and are both tools that are made to capture customer data. While they do bear resemblance to one another, the end goal for both software’s are completely different. Since we already know that customer experience management software tracks and oversees all interactions between a customer and organization throughout a customer lifecycle, let’s explain CRM.

Customer relationship management refers to strategies used by companies to manage and analyze customer information and communication. Information such as contact information, social media communication and purchase history to create sales opportunities can all be maintained in the system. Knowing this information allows a business to market and provide top notch customer service to its clientele.

The difference? CRM is a great tool for gathering data on your customers, getting to know them in terms of data and numbers. CEM allows you to see your customers are people who act as the most important part of your brand.

Is It For You?

If you are interested in knowing more about your customer base, customer experience management may be a good fit for you as it is designed to collect and analyze customer feedback and data. There are many benefits to paying close attention to what your customers believe and listening to them may benefit a business in the long run.

In the world of software, there are a ton of acronyms that float around in daily conversation. It is easy to get overwhelmed with this constant source of information. While it is easy to feel swamped with details about them all, they are important to know, especially if you are a business owner looking to closely incorporate customers into your business decisions.

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How to Use CRM for Sales Enablement

gettyimages 534827625 e1510935521779 How to Use CRM for Sales Enablement

Despite the name, most CRM solutions today go beyond the basics of customer relationship management. In fact, your CRM solution might prove to be the second most valuable part of your sales process—with your sales team taking the top honor.

This is due to the fact that a CRM solution configured for sales enablement can provide insight into your sales process, the effectiveness of your sales team, a centralized hub for sales content, and more.

Such knowledge can help your team make more informed sales decisions and better engage with customers and potential customers. So how can you leverage your CRM to improve your sales performance and create a sales enablement strategy that delivers?

Develop an Insight Driven Sales Workflow

One of the most useful features of a CRM solution is that it provides a wealth of historical data. Analysis of the data can help you better understand the average length of your organization’s sales cycle and create sales forecasting reports to inform future decisions.

This data can also reveal the top lead sources as well as the most successful sales tactics. Using this information, you can create a sales workflow that is both scalable and repeatable. You can then you use the workflow to train new sales team members and implement a sales strategy that enable them to succeed time and time again.

Provide Resources to Better Engage Customers

As with marketing, content is a valuable asset when it comes to sales. That means that developing a hub of great sales content and marketing materials is essential to a solid sales enablement strategy.

There two types of content your sales team should have at their disposal: customer facing content (e.g., presentations, white papers, and case studies) and internal content (e.g., sales scripts and product sheets). Your CRM is the perfect solution—accessible and directly connected to actual leads and opportunities. This tight integration allows your sales team to be ready to deliver at all stages of the sales cycle.

Automate and Customize Communications

No matter what your organization sells, the customer experience should be the cornerstone of all sales communication and outreach. That means ensuring that the content your team delivers is timely and relevant to the needs of the customer.

A CRM solution used to support a sales enablement strategy provides the perfect tool for maintaining an automated and customized communications workflow. The integration of your CRM with an email marketing solution allows you to create automated sequences that send customized emails at key junctions in the sales process. With the data you gather from each sent email, you can better determine how to engage customers at every stage of the sales cycle.

The sales landscape is constantly evolving. Configuring your CRM solution as a sales enablement tool can help your sales team successfully navigate this changing tide. With the data from your CRM, your organization can create a sales workflow that can help optimize sales performance and effectively engage customers.

This will equip your sales team with the tools and resources to spend more time on achieving business gains—and less time on administrative duties. It’s definitely an investment worth making.

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Leveraging SEO and CRO to Increase Leads (Part 1)

gettyimages 660303096 Leveraging SEO and CRO to Increase Leads (Part 1)

When buyers are looking to compare products, one of, if not the first thing they do is search for it on the internet. To be more specific, with nearly 80% market share, most of these searches are happening on Google.

It would follow then, that in order to be competitive in a given market, a company needs to have good visibility in Google search results. Further, they need to reach the first page of the search results to have a good chance of capturing a searchers attention.

So how do you get your company on the first page of Google, and how can you convert the resulting click traffic? Rank well, drive traffic, convert, repeat. Let’s dive in.

Improve Your Visibility

Rank Well: Get Specific with SEO Keywords

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of strategizing and executing a plan to improve your ranking position in search engine results. The ultimate goal is to rank your website in the top ten results when people search for things related to your business.

How do you do this? First, determine which relevant keywords and phrases you should rank for. Put yourself in your customers shoes and decide what you would search for to look for your product. For example, if you sell men’s clothing you might consider the following keywords:

  • men’s clothing
  • shop men’s clothing
  • men’s denim
  • men’s red relaxed fit denim

Ask yourself: what would someone search for that my product or service would be the perfect result for? In the example above, as you can imagine, the competition to rank on the first page for “men’s clothing” is very high because of how broad the search is, while competition for “shop men’s red relaxed fit denim” searches will be lower since it is more specific.

Once you know the keywords and phrases you want to rank for, you can begin adding them to your website. Each page on your site should represent its own unique topic. The ultimate goal is to make it clear to Google which page is the best place to send a user to for the topic they searched for.

Add your keywords into the copy of each page in a way that flows naturally and doesn’t seem forced. If you force the keywords, Google can see this manipulative and a bad user experience, and can hold it against you in the search rankings. If there isn’t much content on the page, you can optimize the headers and sub headers.

If you have a large site and a marketing budget, it may be worth consulting an SEO agency to help you with the complexities.

Offer Some Value

Ok, so you’ve optimized your site for search engines and you are beginning to see the results. Traffic is flowing in to your most important pages, but that is only half of the battle.

Make sure you have a sales funnel in place to ensure you can capitalize on the traffic to your site. Having a contact form is a no brainer, but often that isn’t enough.

If a potential customer is in the research phase of their purchasing funnel, you can be sure that they are comparing you against your competitors. So, you may need to offer them something to remember you by.

A Free Trial – This works well for service and software products. A free trial can get your customer immersed in your product, allowing them to get past any hesitancy or excuses they may have.

White Paper or Research Study – these days users can be guarded over their email address so you need to offer something in return. If you have some research on the industry or a detailed product comparison that no one else has, offer a free download in exchange for an email signup.

Discount – offering a 15% discount or a $ 25 coupon in exchange for an email signup can work really well with ecommerce websites.

Check back next week for Part 2 of this post where we will cover a few best practices to help your onsite conversion rate.

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Benefits of CRM Software for Managers

gettyimages 490310662 Benefits of CRM Software for Managers

Sales managers deal with a lot of moving pieces. From managing sales reps to keeping track of the sales pipeline, productivity analysis, data reporting, and forecasting, there’s a lot at stake. With customer relationship management (CRM) software, managing a sales force gets a lot easier and more streamlined. Below, we’ll look at some of the key benefits implementing and utilizing a comprehensive CRM solution for sales, marketing, and customer service can provide for an organization and for management in particular.

Emphasize productivity

The key to a successful sales force is productivity. All sales managers know this, but getting the sales team to stay productive month after month can be a challenge. I big part of being able to enhance productivity among sales reps is performance evaluation and analysis. And with a customer relationship management solution, this practice is made easy for sales managers. With a CRM solution, managers are able to evaluate the performance of each sales rep who’s utilizing the system, including the ability to compare productivity among departments and various representatives. In addition, managers have access to track detailed campaigns and ensure key opportunities in the pipeline are being handled appropriately. Keep everyone on the team honest and productive with productivity analysis software through CRM.

Visualize the pipeline

Another important responsibility sales managers handle is pipeline management. Without a customer relationship management system in place, managers might have a challenging time visualizing sales opportunities throughout the sales cycle and creating forecasts from their data. With a full-featured solution in place, managers get access to a complete visualization of their sales pipeline—they have access to every detail they’ll need for every opportunity in the pipeline to create accurate and reliable sales forecasts. They’ll also be able to better identify trends in the funnel and pinpoint any challenges that may arise down the road.

Access key data and reports

At the heart of forecasting and understanding accurate sales expectations is having the right reports and metrics at your disposal. Without accurate data or access to any reporting or dashboard analysis functionalities, understanding the future of your sales department can be challenging and way too time-consuming. Fortunately, most CRM solutions come equipped with powerful reporting and dashboard features, including the ability to create customized reports for management, sales, marketing, and customer service purposes.

Establish workflows

When you think customer relationship management software, you probably also think automation and efficiency. What can we automate in our sales process in order to save time and become a more efficient workforce? That’s where workflow automation comes into play. In some robust CRM systems, workflow automation can provide sales and marketing departments with the ability to create customized, automated processes to save time and help eliminate redundant tasks. Specifically, managers can create logic which automatically qualifies and ranks prospects, segments leads by type, sets time-based actions or reminders, and more.

Understand relationships

From a management perspective, building relationships is at the core of a powerful CRM solution. Whether you’re managing a sales, marketing, or customer service department, the system touches on all facets of a customer and/or prospect relationship with the company. When one department adds information into the centralized database regarding a specific contact, that change will be automatically reflected in real-time throughout the system. This centralization provides managers with the ability to ensure data is accurate and up-to-date. It also allows for the creation of hierarchies and other organizational tools to help better understand how your companies and contacts are related and being managed.

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